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SAPD Chief William McManus praises Spurs fans

Chief: San Antonians celebrate in happy, non-destructive way

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of San Antonio Spurs fans descended onto downtown streets Sunday night after the team won their fifth NBA championship.

And with only a few minor exceptions, there were no problems.

"The folks in this city are just fantastic when it comes to celebrating," said SAPD Police Chief William McManus. "It's happy times, not destructive times."

The chief said celebration -- though loud and occasionally rowdy -- was peaceful.

He said that was in no small way due to police preparation.

"The officers that were assigned managed the crowd and did a great job," McManus said.

He noted that in years past, championship celebrations featured long lines of vehicles weaving their way slowly through downtown streets.

Not this year.

Instead, police officials prepared for the onslaught of pedestrian traffic.

"If the crowd got too big for the street, we just detoured traffic and gave them the street," the chief said. "It was just the easiest way to handle things."

The celebrating takes a day or two off, resuming on Wednesday with a river parade.

Beginning at 6 p.m. barges will wind their way along the San Antonio River downtown from the Arneson River Theatre to the Navarro Street bridge. A giant pep rally will follow beginning at 9 p.m. at the Alamodome.

Again, it will mean a lot of police presence.

"That'll actually be easier than last night, " McManus said, "since it is all planned out."

A slideshow is embedded here.

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